Thursday, June 29 , 2017, 2:19 am | Fair 60º

 
 
 
 

Second-Generation Pharmacist Peter Caldwell Fills a Vital Role with Patient Health Care

Drugstores a key front in battle against prescription abuse, but regulations hinder effectiveness

Pharmacist Peter Caldwell suggests that something as simple as standardized physician prescription pads could help stem abuse. “We’re not cops,” Caldwell says of pharmacy professionals. “We’re not supposed to be having to check the validity of every person who comes through the door, but we’re having to do that sort of thing.”
Pharmacist Peter Caldwell suggests that something as simple as standardized physician prescription pads could help stem abuse. “We’re not cops,” Caldwell says of pharmacy professionals. “We’re not supposed to be having to check the validity of every person who comes through the door, but we’re having to do that sort of thing.”  (Nick St.Oegger / Noozhawk photo)

[Noozhawk’s note: This article is part of Day 5 in Noozhawk’s 12-day, six-week special investigative series, Prescription for Abuse. Related links are below.]

Name: Peter Caldwell Pharm.D.

Location: Santa Barbara

Occupation: Pharmacist

Pharmacist Peter Caldwell jokes that his career path was set as an infant when his parents used a prescription cabinet for his bassinet.

Caldwell‘s family has been in the pharmacy business since his father, Mike, married a young woman named Mary who worked the cash register at a pharmacy in Seattle during the 1940s.

                                Prescription for Abuse  |  Complete Series Index  |

Caldwell runs L.M. Caldwell Pharmacy with a sense of humor — a good trait to have, given the size of the health-care industry today from what it was when he took over the family business in 1977.

“Bureaucracy is the biggest consumer of health care at the moment,” he said.

Getting insurance companies out of the health-care business would be the best thing for everyone, Caldwell says.

It is luck that the Caldwells ended up in Santa Barbara.

Caldwell’s father was an avid golfer and grew tired of walking Seattle’s soggy courses after it rained. After hearing about a golfer’s paradise called La Jolla, he decided to move his family down the coast.

While visiting Santa Barbara on their way south, the family’s Buick broke down and they were stranded for a three-day weekend. They enjoyed the beach community so much that they never left.

Caldwell got his pharmacology degree at the University of Washington and passed his state board exam before serving as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Vietnam War.

He was stationed in an administrative post at a training and supply base in the Seattle area before returning to Santa Barbara.

Caldwell’s mother ran the pharmacy’s business and worked there until she was 90.

“This was my mother’s social life,” he said. “Here she had all this social activity all the time. She knew all the people, they knew her, and that’s really what kept her going all that time.”

With neither of his daughters interested in becoming pharmacists, Caldwell, 67, plans to keep working as long as he enjoys it.

Caldwell says misuse of prescription medications is becoming a major issue but pharmacists are now prevented by HIPAA privacy rules from notifying each other about forged prescriptions.

“It put a damper on our ability to do the things we want to do to protect the public and the providers,” he said.

Caldwell says the state of California also made a mistake by no longer selling standardized prescription pads to physicians. Today, he says he sees prescription pads in a variety of shapes and with different security features.

“We’re not cops,” Caldwell said. “We’re not supposed to be having to check the validity of every person who comes through the door, but we’re having to do that sort of thing.”

                                Prescription for Abuse  |  Complete Series Index  |

Noozhawk intern Daniel Langhorne can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >